Recipes

Cheesy Grits Recipe

As part of our “good luck” eats on New Year’s Day, I am finally getting around to posting the recipes that were used and are share worthy.

First up, Martha Stewart’s Cheesy Grits. I chose grits instead of cornbread because…well, it looked really good when we saw Martha cooking these up on PBS.

This simple yet satisfying recipe makes delicious creamy, cheesy grits that could be modified to be a main course (a little shrimp and grits, sausage and grits, anything and grits). We used the grits as a tasty side to our pork. The leftovers were just a great the next day!

Here is my adaptation along with a link to Martha’s original recipe:

Ingredients

4 cups chicken stock or broth

1 cup grits (I buy in bulk from Annie Kay’s)

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Grated sharp cheddar and parmesan cheeses, about 2 cups divided but who really measures?

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Freshly ground black pepper

Thick bacon slices, cooked and diced

Tomato slices (about 1/4″ thick)

Directions

  • Bring 4 cups chicken stock or broth and salt to a boil.
  • Using a whisk, stir constantly and add grits in a slow, steady stream. Lower heat but keep at a rapid simmer.
  • Cook, stirring constantly, until broth is absorbed and grits are creamy.
  • Remove from heat. Add butter and half of the grated cheese. Stir in with a wooden spoon.
  • Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Rub inside of ramekin with butter. Fill to about 2/3 full with the grits.
  • Top with diced, cooked bacon and a slice of tomato, then top with cheese.
  • Place ramekin on a rimmed baking sheet.
  • Broil until cheese is melted and slightly browned.

We’ve made these again. All told, this recipe probably takes about 15-20 minutes to prepare. It is quick, easy and tastes super.

Rainy weekend tasks

The weather is the top talk of the town these days…from extremely dry to record breaking rains…it has been a season of extremes, making many gardening tasks rather difficult to even consider.

For the past rainy weekend, social activities were cancelled due to rain and the to-do list was refocused to indoor activities. I posted some time ago a recipe for canning sweet pepper relish. A customer and friend supplied me with this recipe, and with bell and hot peppers still producing, Saturday was a perfect day for revisiting this relish.

Peppers

Peppers

With every available color bell pepper and a few hot ones for good measure, this relish makes a colorful and fun alternative to your run-of-the-mill pickle relish common to the backyard hot dog. Easy to make, this recipe is definitely a great rainy day canning project to tackle.

Have a peck of peppers you don’t know what to do with? Consider making this relish.

Do you have a favorite bell pepper canning recipe to share?

Leeks – two recipes to try (quiche & tart)

Leeks

Leeks

We have leeks ready for harvest!

What a wonderful relative of garlic and onions. Delicate. Mild. Fun to cook with…in fact, here are some recipes on my radar to try:

Leek, Bacon, & Gruyere Crustless Quiche

INGREDIENTS

2 medium leeks, white and light green parts

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

6 ounces thinly sliced bacon, 6 to 8 slices

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese

2 cups half-and-half

2 large eggs

2 large egg yolks

Freshly ground black pepper

Pinch freshly grated nutmeg

4 ounces grated Gruyere or Swiss cheese, about 1 cup

DIRECTIONS

1. Trim the root of the leek, leaving ends intact to hold the leaves together, then halve lengthwise. Rinse well under running water to flush out any grit trapped between the leaves. Cut each half into 3-inch lengths, keeping leaves together. Put leeks in a large skillet with water to cover and 1 teaspoon salt. Simmer over medium heat until the leeks are tender, about 6 minutes. Drain the excess water, add 2 tablespoons butter, and cook over medium heat until the leek edges are golden brown and sweet.

2. Cook the bacon in a medium skillet, until just crisp. Transfer to paper towels to drain.

3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Brush a 9-inch glass or ceramic pie pan with 2 tablespoons butter and sprinkle the grated Parmesan evenly on top. Put pan on a baking sheet.

4. Whisk the half-and-half, eggs and yolks in large glass measuring cup. Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Spread half the Gruyere evenly in the pan, crumble the bacon on top; repeat with remaining cheese. Place the leeks, browned side up, on the cheese and pour the custard over the fillings.

5. Bake until the quiche is just set in the center, about 40 to 50 minutes. Cool completely on a rack before serving.

Copyright 2009 Television Food Network, G.P. All rights reserved From Food Network Kitchens

Leek and Olive Tart with Two Cheeses

(Martha Stewart)

INGREDIENTS

15 to 20 baby leeks or 3 large leeks, white and pale-green parts only

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Coarse salt

1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme

1 box (14 ounces) frozen puff pastry, such as Dufour, thawed

1 large egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Scant 1/4 cup Nicoise olives, pitted

4 ounces Pave d’Affinois or other soft-ripened cheese (such as Camembert or Perail), thinly sliced (I think I will go for some feta)

DIRECTIONS

1. If using baby leeks, halve lengthwise and trim to about 3 inches long. If using regular leeks, cut crosswise into 3-inch pieces; halve each piece lengthwise, then cut into 3/8-inch-thick strips (about 5 cups). Rinse well, and drain; set aside.

2. Melt butter with oil in a medium saute pan over medium heat. Add leeks and 1/4 teaspoon salt; cook, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until leeks are tender but not browned, about 15 minutes. Stir in thyme. Leeks can be refrigerated in an airtight container up to 1 day; bring to room temperature before assembling tart.

3. Cut or roll out pastry to a 6-by-14-inch rectangle; place on a parchment-lined baking sheet (reserve remaining pastry for another use). Score a 3/4-inch border. Brush with egg wash; sprinkle with Parmesan. Refrigerate 30 minutes.

4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake pastry until golden, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from oven, and press center area with a metal spatula. Arrange leeks end to end in rows within border of pastry. Scatter olives over leeks. Bake until crust is golden brown, about 10 minutes. If bottom is soft, bake 3 to 5 minutes more.

5. Remove tart from oven, and arrange soft cheese over top. Using an offset spatula, slide tart onto a wire rack; let cool slightly. Cut into pieces; serve warm or at room temperature (tart can stand at room temperature up to 1 hour).

Roasted fingerling potatoes & green bean recipe

Stringless green beans

Stringless green beans

With these guys coming in fast and strong, it’s time for a green bean recipe.

Here is one that sounded good (from Southern Living):

Roasted Fingerlings and Green Beans With Creamy Tarragon Dressing

Yield: Makes 4 to 6 servings

Ingredients

1 1/2 pounds fingerling potatoes*

1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, divided 1 teaspoon salt, divided

3/4 teaspoon cracked pepper, divided

1/2 pound tiny green beans (haricot verts) [or why not regular green beans?]

Creamy Tarragon Dressing

1/4 cup buttermilk

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper

1/2 cup olive oil

2 tablespoons finely chopped green onion

1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon

Whisk together first 6 ingredients in a small bowl until combined. Gradually whisk in oil in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly until smooth. Whisk in green onion and tarragon. Use immediately, or store in an airtight container in refrigerator up to 2 days. Let chilled dressing stand 30 minutes before using.

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 425°. Cut fingerlings in half lengthwise, and place in a large bowl. Toss with 1 Tbsp. olive oil, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. pepper. Place potato halves, cut sides up, in a jelly-roll pan. Toss green beans with remaining 1/2 Tbsp. oil, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper, and place in another jelly-roll pan.

2. Bake potatoes at 425° for 30 to 32 minutes or until tender and browned. Remove from oven, and let potatoes stand in pan.

3. Bake green beans at 425° for 12 minutes.

4. Arrange green beans around roasted potatoes on a serving platter. Drizzle with Creamy Tarragon Dressing.

*1 1/2 lb. small red potatoes, halved, may be substituted with a bake time of 35 minutes. 1 1/2 lb. russet potatoes, quartered, may be substituted with a bake time of 40 minutes.

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